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21 May 2018

Spotlight on Cork in Barcelona

Tourism Ireland teams up with Aer Lingus to grow Spanish tourist numbers

4.5 million Spaniards encouraged to discover Cork, the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East

Tourism Ireland in Spain has teamed up with Aer Lingus, to promote flights from Barcelona to Cork and to grow Spanish tourist numbers this year. The campaign is highlighting Cork Airport as an important gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East to ‘culturally curious’ travellers. It is being rolled out this month to take advantage of late booking patterns among Spanish holidaymakers.

Working closely with airlines and airports to build demand for flights is a key priority for Tourism Ireland and this campaign will reach around 4.5 million people living in and around Barcelona through outdoor ads in various locations around Barcelona, which will reach around 2 million commuters; and digital ads on leading news and lifestyle websites, including El PeriĆ³dico, La Vanguardia and Atrapalo, which will reach around 2.5 million people.

Spain is an important market for tourism to the island of Ireland and travel by Spaniards to Ireland has grown significantly over the past 17 years – going from just 90,000 Spanish visitors in 2000 to a record 443,200 in 2017. Tourism Ireland is determined to ensure that growth continues and is rolling out a busy programme of promotions right throughout 2018.

Barbara Wood, Tourism Ireland’s Manager in Spain, said: “2017 was the best year ever for Spanish visitor numbers to Ireland. And, the good news is that the most recent CSO figures confirm growth of +5.4% for the first quarter of this year. Tourism Ireland is rolling out an extensive programme of activity throughout 2018 and campaigns with key partners like Aer Lingus are an important element of that programme.”

Outdoor ads in Barcelona.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 281,000 people across the island.
  • In 2017, we welcomed approximately 10.65 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.78 billion.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.3 million visitors in 2017.